You Suck at Parking (aka YSAP) is about making you park cars inside tiny rectangular parking spots. The extra difficulty comes from the fact that you have to time things right to stop exactly inside the parking spot at once (drawn on the road as a small rectangle). If your car stops at any point on the way before reaching your goal, you are in for a new retry from the start.
A Game About… Parking?
Thankfully, this is not a first-person game. You see your car high from above, which makes it easier to view and plan things along the way. Levels are short, with usually several parking spots to reach in different places. A timer gives you a few minutes to do it all, once after the other, in in whichever order you like.The time limit puts pressure on you: you have infinite retries on the level as long as the timer does not run out. If it does, you need to start from scratch again that level, which is a not a big deal. If you are in achievements, You Suck at Parking rewards completing levels the fastest possible, and with the most accuracy (if you manage to land right in the middle of the parking spot, more points).
After that, it’s your typical level-based game. You get to the next set of levels by driving on an a series of island to reach them. That’s actually pretty confusing since you don’t really know where you are supposed to go, so sometimes you just wander around to find the next levels, which is not fun.
There is no specific story, and it’s made to become more and more difficult as you go. At the beginning it’s very easy to get you acquainted to the mechanics of the game, but soon enough the game introduces obstacles, moving objects, mines, jumps, magnets, fans, and a lot more to make it way harder to reach your parking spots.
It’s rather well designed overall: the controls are good (gamepad recommended!) and you mostly only have yourself to blame if you lose. However, jumps are usually not that easy to visualize because of the viewpoint, and the more so the longer the jump. The amount of trickery added as you progress feels rapidly overwhelming, too. Mines placed right after a jump is not fair in any measure, it’s more about luck than real skill. Magnets and fans can’t be really assessed until you go through them first the first time: a visual indicator (leaves, for example) would have been great to signal how weak/strong they actually are before you reach them.
All in all, it’s not extremely fun in solo mode. It feels a little pointless. Fighting against the clock is not very exciting in this particular case. I would have rather liked to see actual AI opponents on screen trying to reach the same goal, acting as a visual cue instead of a simple, boring timer. It would probably be a lot more fun in multiplayer, but in online mode I was unable to find anyone to play with. Could be my weird timezone, or the lack of online players on this game currently.
Oh scratch that, I guess nobody is playing this game currently. The sad destiny of games that fail to meet critical mass appeal… So there you have it. There’s apparently a whole lot of seasons and new content planned down the road, but I am not sure I will be checking it further.
This Should Have Been Something Else
I am not sure what went through the head of the devs here and what made them obsessed with parking stuff. After playing for a while it’s fairly obvious they had the skills to make a solid racing game, and that they could have kept most of the design elements they had here and turned this into a real top-view racing game that would have been quite fun, against real or AI opponents!
Instead, they chose to focus on a super niche concept about parking precisely your car in a small spot. Imagine if Polyphony Digital had released Gran Turismo featuring only the “permits” mode without the racing part? Well that’s how YSAP feels like: one play mode of something that should have been much bigger.
The good thing is that they could easily take all the assets they have developed for YSAP, and pivot to make a real racing game that would surely be a lot more popular. wink wink
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What about Linux ?
There is Linux native client, but you can run it just fine using Proton… Experimental in my case. I think that a few months back it did not work too well with the base Proton but Experimental did the job. In any case, the game plays fine and has decent performance – except a few hiccups in framerate on the travel map when it has too much vegetation, while this seems to have improved after several updates.
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